As a property manager, you always have a lot going on at the same time. You’re creating listings for vacant properties while conducting move-in inspections for newly-leased ones. You’re keeping an eye on maintenance costs and putting out fires in the form of surprise repairs at the same time.
If you’ve been in the game even a little while, you’ve probably already assembled a growing collection of property management templates to standardize your most-repeatable processes and tasks. You also know that using them religiously can save you time, money, and headaches.
Following a tight process also helps you stay compliant with local, state, and federal regulations, especially when it comes to rent, security deposits, leases, and termination notices.
In this article, we’ve gathered a template for just about any scenario to keep your business running like a well-oiled machine—whether you’re starting a property management business from scratch or simply looking to fill some gaps in your process.
The Most Important Property Management Templates
First, let’s talk about two basic templates that, if you’re just starting out, will help get your business off the ground.
Property Management Checklist
A property management checklist is a top-level document that evolves over time. Tasks are added and taken off as your business grows and changes. If you’re brand new, you might start off with items such as these:
- Create a marketing strategy
- Network with local owners
- Draw up property management agreement template
But if you’ve been doing this for a while, your checklist might include items having to do with expanding the business, attracting new residents, or reevaluating your management processes.
The point of a checklist is to keep your business running smoothly by organizing and prioritizing tasks that you and your team need to accomplish.
Smartsheet has an example.
Property Management Agreement
This is the contract between you and your owners. Each property management agreement you make may be slightly different, depending on the terms you and your owner agree to. But a solid agreement template generally includes the following:
- A detailed list of your responsibilities as a property manager
- A detailed list of your owner’s responsibilities
- Payment terms
- Service start and renewal dates
- Number and type of properties under agreement
- Property manager and owner contact information
Here are some great examples of property management agreement templates from Rocket Lawyer and TemplateLab.
All of your property listings should be consistent and on-brand, using your language, fonts, logo, and colors. You can use a property management software solution to create a listing template for you.
That way, you simply have to drop in photos and videos, and write the description for your vacant properties.
When a property turns over, it’s a must to do a thorough inspection to catalogue damage that you may have to follow up with previous tenants about, as well as to create repair and maintenance tickets to address normal wear and tear.
In fact, some states require written documentation of the condition of a rental property to anyone moving in.
To make sure every inspection is consistent, inspection checklists can really come in handy.
Inspection Checklist for Move-In
A move-in inspection is done as soon as a resident moves in. They should report any damage they see to you, and you should do your own walk-through to document the state of the property.
Here is an example of a move-in inspection checklist from Zumper. Pro tip: You can syndicate your rental listings to Zumper’s network through Buildium’s one-click syndication.
Inspection Checklist for Move-Out
When a resident moves out, it’s time to conduct another inspection. Walk through with your move-in inspection report (or an inspections app) to compare the condition of the property now with its state when the resident moved in.
You can use the same checklist from Zumper to record your move-out inspection, as well.
Repair templates help you keep track of work requested, in progress, and done.
Repair Request Form
When a resident needs something fixed (and it’s not an emergency), they should fill out a request form that details their name and property location, their contact information, the kind of repair needed, and the location of the damage within the property.
If your resident is signed up to your resident portal, they can make a request by logging in or using the app.
Once a request is made and a ticket is created, you and your staff should track the work order to its completion. A repair log will include who is making the repair and when, an itemized list of materials and their cost, number of hours spent on the repair, and when the repair was completed.
You can use a template like this one to track the work, or you can track it through a property management software solution.
General maintenance, cleaning, and sanitation tasks should be tracked, as well, to help you keep tabs on time, resources, and cost.
It’s tough to keep all the maintenance tasks and the staff or vendors who perform them straight, especially across multiple properties. Creating a maintenance schedule for each property you manage will ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
A maintenance services schedule might include landscaping, HVAC filter replacement, furnace cleaning, exterior painting, or any number of other regular tasks. Some may be done monthly, quarterly, yearly, or even every few years. So, setting up long-term schedules is just as important as monthly or quarterly ones.
For each maintenance task, there should be a log, very similar to your repair logs. In fact, they will include much of the same information:
- Name and contact information for the person who performed the maintenance
- Materials and cost (if out of the normal spec for the work)
- Hours spent
- Dates of when the work began and ended
You can create your own, use the template we linked to for repairs, or you can track maintenance using a software solution.
Cleaning Request Form
Cleaning tasks may be a part of your regular maintenance schedule. But there also may be situations where you or one of your tenants need to make a special request. It could be that a common area needs cleaning outside of its regularly scheduled time because of heavy traffic, or a storm has swept up dirt on outside exercise or playground equipment.
A cleaning request form will capture much of the same information as a repair request form.
Likewise, a cleaning log will look very similar to a repair or maintenance log. Pro Tip: You may want to include a place to upload pictures of the finished job so that you can make a quick inspection of the work done.
Over the last year, we’ve learned a lot about proper sanitation procedures and how to implement them. And just because sanitation regulations should ease up doesn’t mean you should brush over your sanitation procedures.
Residents will still appreciate proper sanitation of common areas, such as laundry rooms, gyms, and meeting areas.
If you haven’t already (and we know you most likely have), you can use the CDC guidelines to create or update your own sanitation checklist.
Log the work of your sanitation crew just like you log the work of your repair, maintenance, and cleaning crew. You can customize your repair or maintenance log, or track it through your property management software.
Creating templates for all your leasing activities takes a lot more thought on your part. There are legal standards that have to be met, and certain types of information that you can and cannot ask for or disclose.
No matter how you choose to handle the following forms and templates, it’s always best to have your lawyer take a look before you begin using them.
A rental application generally asks for an applicant’s name, date of birth, social security number, and current address. It also requests the following:
- Current and past employment and salary
- Address history
- Other potential occupants
- Pets (if you allow them)
An application should never ask for information concerning the applicant’s race, gender identity, religious affiliation, disability status, or any other information protected by the Fair Housing Act.
It also includes language that indicates the applicant has given truthful information only, that they know the application doesn’t bind them to the property, and that they are giving you permission to check references and run a credit check.
Again, this is contractual language your lawyer should always look over. Your lawyer can also help you understand your responsibilities when it comes to applicants’ privacy.
The lease is the binding agreement between you and your resident. Your owner may choose to use a very basic lease, like this one, or they may need a more robust agreement that spells out terms specific to their properties. Generally, though, leases include much of the following:
- The amount of rent and when it is due
- Information concerning security deposits and other fees
- Procedures for late payments
- Restrictions on what a resident can do with their unit
- Guidelines on guests
- When and how you can enter their unit
- Pet policies
- Procedures for damage to the unit
- Terms for residency termination
Again, this is a template your lawyer can look over to make sure it complies with local, state, and federal regulations.
A lease amendment addresses an issue that isn’t covered in a standard or current lease. It’s a change that must be agreed upon, however, by both the owner and the resident.
This is also a template you should create and go over with your lawyer since, by nature, it can be customized to suit the unique needs of a tenancy and unit.
Security Deposit Receipt
Requirements on the handling of security deposits vary by state. In some states, such as Massachusetts, owners or property managers must give a resident a receipt for their security deposit within 30 days of receiving it.
Many states require rent receipts for residents who ask for them. Washington, Maryland, and New York require them for residents who pay in cash. Still others, such as Massachusetts, require they be issued no matter the situation.
Running a tight ship with property management templates for all aspects of your property management business isn’t just a way to save time and money. It also sets best practices and keeps your service consistent across your entire portfolio. Finally, it frees up time to focus attention where you can add the most value for your owners and residents.
While we did just list a whole slew of property management templates, you can also do all of this even more efficiently right in property management software that’s purpose-built for your needs. If you’re interested in exploring the possibilities of how technology can help you scale, watch how Buildium works.
See More in Scaling